This past Columbus Day weekend, I packed my bags and headed to Virginia Beach, VA for some sun, fun, relaxation, and processing.
I actually had planned this trip about two months ago, why? Because I could. I realize that every single trip I have taken, whether it was for school, work, family, or pleasure, all involved me going with at least one other person. While I don't mind being with other people, it has also meant that bit of tension about making sure that everyone else involved is happy and that you end up compromising on some of the activities that go on. Besides that, I was going through my break-up with Joshua and I wanted some time for myself. I didn't really take time off for myself when I broke up with Mike, and I think a big part of that was because I was pretty much gone from that relationship emotionally when the break-up finally happened. Either way, I just wanted to be alone, even if it was simply to see what it felt like if I basically was somewhere where I knew no one and I had to feel things out on my own. I had to teach myself to be completely independent again.
Besides that, I kind of liked the idea of being able to do whatever the fuck I wanted, whenever I wanted, period. :-D
So Friday morning I loaded my car up with some clothes, some books, my bike, and directions to the places along the way that I wanted to stop at. It was then off to Virginia early in the morning. My first stop was at a Sonic Drive-In for a Rt 44 Cherry Limeade, Chicken Club Toaster, and Tater Tots. I have yet to find another place that can do a cherry limeade like Sonic can. After that brunch, I stopped at the local Russell Stover Outlet to pick up some chocolate just to have around, plus I bought some to use for a party in the future. It's nice to be able to buy 3 pounds of seconds from the factory for only $10, and they generally taste just as good as the regular. I drove on, got down around Williamsburg, and by this time it had occurred to me that I had forgotten to pack my bike lock, so I ran into a local store to purchase a $4 chain lock.
As I flew down I-64, I saw signs to go to Jamestown. Considering it was the 400th anniversary of the founding, and I had never been there, I decided on a side trip. I went over to Jamestown and toured the galleries first. The galleries had some amazing artifacts in them, including a copy of the Magna Carta, porcelain from China brought over here, and bits and pieces from the different cultures from around here. One thing I noticed about some of the artists was that they seemed to really like to paint the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus when Mary is about to feed Jesus, which means an exposed breast. I'm sure those kinds of portraits were considered shocking and blasphemous Unfortunately they did not allow for photography inside the galleries.
I did get pictures of re-creations of the ships that first landed at Jamestown, a re-creation of the Native American villages, and the re-creation of the Jamestown Fort. Eventually I headed back on the highway and it was onward to VA Beach.
I arrived at VA Beach in the late afternoon and got checked into my hotel. I was only a block from the boardwalk, so immediately I was on my bike to ride up along the beach and see what had changed from last year. I noticed a few playgrounds were added on the beach, plus the sand sculptures from the Neptune Festival the previous week were in a completely different location. Unfortunately the big Neptune sculpture was gone by then, and a number of other sculptures were already falling apart. Oh well.
So I went up the boardwalk and then back down the street to look at all the shops. As I headed back I took note that many of the stores were having their off-season sales, including a few that were 50% off the entire store. I ended up stopping at one because I saw a towel that I liked. It had (surprise surprise!) the face of a tiger on it. While in there, I also noticed a bodyboard that had a design I liked as well, so I basically bought both items for only $20. I walked those back to the hotel, stopping along the way to order some Chinese take-out so I could kick back in the room.
After dinner and a bit of cleaning up, I headed out to The Rainbow Cactus, which is a gay bar in the city. I ended up leaving after about 1.5 hours because it just wasn't my scene. One side of the bar was the country side, and they were giving line dancing lessons for a while before just switching to music, which of course was all line dancing. I hate line dancing, if there was two-stepping, I could have gotten into that. Take note boys, I lead. The other side of the bar is more pop and hip hop music. However, most of the people who came to the bar were with groups of friends and they pretty much sat at a table and talked to one another, there was no one on the dance floor there. It felt a bit awkward to be on that side because there's no good way to try and gauge when to introduce yourself, plus most of the time, you're maybe interested in talking to only one or two people in the group of five or so that are sitting around the table at first, and of course you look like a dickhead for doing that. So rather than feel like an outsider all night, I took off for the hotel.